HERB - Banckes herbal & Medicine and Society

Gaylin Walli g.walli at infoengine.com
Tue Dec 1 08:49:52 PST 1998

Jadwiga kindly said:
>The introduction says this is the British Museum copy reproduced in
>facsimile. According to the colophon, this copy is dated March 25, 1525.
>(and of course there is the all-important transcription, a lovely thing,
>god wot.)

Ah, I like facsimile editions the best. I don't suppose you have an
ISBN off that copy? I can't seem to find reference to the ISBN online and
it certainly helps the interlibrary loan folks when you can fill out
the card completely. (Not to mention the fact that an ISBN gets me
that much closer to a Christmas gift. I admit it: I have ulterior

>The authors who wrote the introduction in 1941 don't mention 'Agnus
>Castus' (the manuscript) but they do speak of at least 15 editions,as well
>as two volumes called 'Macers Herbal Practysyd by Doctor Lynacro" and
>two _Little Herbal_ editions atributed to Askham, but the editors believe
>those may be from the same source as Banckes, not editions of it.

This seems to match with the information that I have from the intro
information to the Agnus Castus. That's not the actual title, but a
contrived one, to be honest, mirroring the process of naming an unnamed
manuscript after the first line or entry of text. In this case, the
manuscript's first described herb is Agnus castus (aka Vitex).

>If they are all taken from that manuscript, that might be an explanation.
>(anyone have Rohdes's _Old English Herbals_ to check this? My copy

I'm going to try to bring in the Agnus Castus copy while I still have
it and type in some of the introduction information for people who
want it. It's a hard hard read of the original text, but the intro
stuff alone is fascinating. Okay, fascinating to me. :)

>Markham did add recipes in the more traditional style.

The more traditional style for the non-physician or the non-surgeon,
that is. There seems to me to be a big difference detailed in books
about medical writings of the time period and their intended audience.
I have another book that I got from the library that details this
in a few places:

Rawcliffe, Carole. (1995). Medicine and Society in Later Medieval England.
Gloucestershire, Eng.: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 0-86299-598-1

For anyone near Valpariso U, I apologize, but I have your library's
copy right now. I'll be returning it by the 11th of December. :)
Rawcliffe's book is very nicely readable, extremely well researched
(better than just about any book on the subject that *I've* read).
While I'm trying to focus on owning copies of primary sources, this
book as a secondary is extremely tough for me to pass up. I'm a book
hound, too, so take that with a grain of salt. But the information in
it is thorough without sounding too much like Rawcliffe managed to
publish a doctoral dissertation.

Thanks for the info, Jadwiga. It's much appreciated.

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